Iraqi Forces Slow Advance On Last Isis Pocket In Mosul
Iraqi forces slowed their advance on Tuesday (July 4) through the last streets in Mosul controlled by Islamic State (ISIS) where militants and civilians are packed in densely together, a commander said.
While Iraqi commanders predicted final victory in Mosul this week, U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced they had begun an assault on ISIS’ Syrian redoubt in the Old City of Raqqa.
The Iraqi military has pushed insurgents into a shrinking rectangle no more than 300 by 500 meters beside the Tigris River in Mosul; but the resistance has been fierce.
A commander from the Rapid Response Division, an elite Interior Ministry unit, estimated more than 10,000 civilians remained trapped inside the area under militant control, including people brought from other areas as human shields. They are trapped with little food, water or medicine amid the Old City's maze of narrow alleyways, according to residents who have managed to escape.
“We will announce good news to the Iraqi people, God willing. ISIS fighters have started to drop their weapons and flee. Yesterday we captured four or five [ISIS fighters] who were trying to flee among civilians,” Explosive Expert with Iraqi Federal Police, Yassir Abbas Naj, said.